Gaming laptops are a confusing piece a tech to me. Aside from a handful of exceptions, the majority of them offer decent gaming performance with hardly any real mobility, while costing far more than a proper desktop. But Alienware wants to change that. In fact, they want to future-proof laptop gaming with their latest device.
A laptop booster that houses an external GPU card. It also sort of looks like a toaster, if Alienware ever ventured into that market. So Alienware’s Lappy Toastie, if I ever had my way with marketing [Ed’s note: He doesn’t. Thankfully]
It’s really called the Alienware Graphics Amplifier (boring), and it’s meant to extend the life of their new 13′ gaming laptop. The external housing supports a single full-length, double-wide PCI Express x16 graphics card, which is meant to act as the kick up the rear most laptops needs. Plug it in using the special cable, and your laptop could suddenly think it has the power of a GTX 980 roaring beneath it.
It sounds great, but there are a few glaring issues. Firstly, the flimsy plastic device costs $300. That’s a lot of cash for an add-on to an already expensive laptop. You’ll also need your own GPU, obviously. You could justify the price by replacing your desktop with this laptop, toaster combo, but that does mean being construed by the laptop’s CPU. That becomes a problem for really high-end gaming.
And when you’re paying for accessories that cost this much, on top of a expensive laptop, that’s pretty much what you’d expect. Right now the Graphics Amplifier only works with Alienware’s new 13′ laptop, which starts at $999 with an Intel Core i5 processor, 6 GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU and 1366 x 768 LCD display.
I’d love to see more universal adoption of such a device, because there are much better gaming laptops than Alienware out there. Maybe then there’s hope for a true desktop replacement that van be unplugged for on-the-go enjoyment as well.
Last Updated: October 28, 2014